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4 minor things you can do to become a more responsible citizen

20th April 2016

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According to a 2015 government survey just under a third (32%) of people had a very strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood. The proportion of people who were ‘very satisfied’ with their local area as a place to live was 43%.

Police are the backbone of our community, and although they may hold our community together in many ways it’s often hard to understand where the line is drawn. If your area is particularly run down or unmaintained or maybe there’s a sense of social disconnection in the area - but whose responsibly is it to sort it out?

The easy option is to blame the authorities; it’s disconcerting when we feel nothing is being done for us. But let’s put the situation into perspective. It’s about time each and every one of us took responsibility. Let’s face it, if the police put all their time and energy into creating a tidy, pleasant community with positive attitudes to follow suit, there would be a gaping whole in the system. We need our authorities to keep our streets safe and deal with the hard hitting crime that really does ruin communities.

So whose responsibility is it then? It’s yours. And mine. It’s ours. Together we can put our communities in our own hands and change them for the better. All we need is a sense of autonomy to do the right thing for the sake of ourselves and those around us. The ‘it’s not my job’ attitude is detrimental to our communities and it needs to stop now.

If you’re sick of seeing litter in your roads, pick it up.

If you notice your elderly neighbour’s hedge is overgrown, offer to cut it for them.

If you’re fed up with kids loitering in the streets, why not volunteer to help clean up the local parks or youth centres so that the community is a more inhabitable place for everyone?

Here are a few simple pointers to help you engage with your community in a positive way.

Be forward-thinking

It’s far too simple for us to make a quick, easy (and usually lazy) decisions. Deciding to throw your sandwich wrapper on the floor may be convenient in the moment, but if you took a second to think about the minimal effort it would require for you to wait and pop it in a recycling bin, you’ll realise that your life isn’t going to be significantly altered by holding on to the sandwich rapper for an extra 20 minutes. Think forward!

Practise what you preach

We’re British; we love to moan. So whatever it is that really gets on your nerves in your area, do something about it rather than talking about it. There’s nothing worse than someone who’s all talk and no trousers, so don’t be that guy! We all have our own morals and values, but projecting them into our communities does a lot more than preaching to our mates.

Be innovative

We are conditioned to believe that we should be content with the way things are and that one person can’t make a difference. Instead of accepting this non-truth, reach out for ways to improve the quality of living for yourself and those around you. If you have an idea or a vision, make it happen! Be pro active and don’t allow yourself to be knocked down by the status quo.

Spread the word

Encourage the people around you to take pride in where they live and take responsibility for our surroundings. Everyone has a voice, use yours to spread positivity and passion for your community. Even if just one person listens to you, you’ve spread the word - and you’ve succeeded. 

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